I hacked an IKEA DUKTIG play kitchen for our little girl, Maya We gave it to her for Christmas and she has loved it ever since! Maya’s beautiful play kitchen is in our joint kitchen and dining room, and she plays with it all day. Especially when we are cooking. She spends most of her time baking cakes – the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree!
I decided to hack the play kitchen for Maya because I knew we would place the IKEA DUKTIG kitchen in our dining room and I would be looking at it all the time. The IKEA DUKTIG play kitchen is pretty neutral in its default state, but I just thought it would clash a bit with our decorating.
I also wanted to find a good solution for additional play food storage. I have seen so many of our friends’ kids’ play kitchens and how the piles of play food just grows and grows. And the IKEA DUKTIG kitchen just doesn’t have room for that much storage. So I decided to build additional storage into our play kitchen. I ended up creating an IKEA hack of an IKEA DUKTIG kitchen and an IKEA GNEDBY shelving unit (also known as the CD shelving unit).
I absolutely love the result. And I’m actually kind of envious of how beautiful her kitchen is compared to mine! Because Maya definitely has the prettiest kitchen in the house now. I wonder when I will have time to hack our real kitchen… 😉
By the way, the posters hanging behind Maya’s play kitchen are paper cuts from Storyworks.
An introduction to the play kitchen
Welcome to Maya’s kitchen! The kitchen is a lovely dusty sage green color with an exclusive “marble” tabletop and luxurious “brass” details such as faucet and cabinet pulls 😉 The kitchen has extended tabletop space and extra storage from multiple sides.
The IKEA DUKTIG oven comes with a shelf but I have swapped it for a cooling rack. I also added knobs to the oven. Additionally, I installed lights in the oven and microwave which turns on when the door is opened. Maya has already spent several hours just opening and closing the cabinets and oven!
On the side of the kitchen there is an old wireless phone, where I have removed the chord. I got the phone second hand for free. Maya calls her grandma several times a day 😉
As of now, most of Maya’s play food is made from wood. She has been really lucky to have gotten a lot of the play food as gifts. Plates, bowls, cups and cutlery I bought unpainted and painted myself.
Materials and equipment
Maya’s play kitchen is an IKEA hack where I have combined two IKEA furniture pieces: the IKEA DUKTIG play kitchen and the IKEA GNEDBY shelving unit. The actual play kitchen has been upgraded with some new features and it has also gotten a visual makeover. The shelving unit has been cut into several pieces and distributed to add extra storage to the play kitchen.
There are probably lots of smarter ways to put together a kitchen like this, but now I’ll tell you what I did and which materials I used.
- 1 IKEA DUKTIG play kitchen
- 1 IKEA GNEDBY shelving unit (no longer available in some countries, but can often be found second hand)
- Extra screws
- Sage green and white paint
- White and gold spray paint
- Plastic spray primer
- Painter’s tape
- An extra tabletop piece, for example MDF
- Self-adhesive foil for the tabletop
- 2x gold knobs
- 2x oven knobs Ø37 mm
- Oven cooling rack
- Small wooden blocks to hold the cooling rack
- Doublesided tape
- 3x guld cabinet pulls, 128 mm
- 2x magnetic cabinet lights
My total amount was about 1500 Danish kroner, but prices will differ from country to country.
*I already had this.
- Fine saw
- Fine sandpaper
- Measuring rod
- Screwdriver and power drill
- Paint roll and brushes
IKEA GNEDBY shelving unit is no longer available in all countries.
Unfortunately the IKEA GNEDBY is no longer available in all countries, but can often be found second hand. I believe the shelving unit is still sold in e.g. Sweden.
Planning your project
I started by drawing a sketch of what I wanted the kitchen to look like. I chose to build the extra shelving on the right side of the kitchen because it will be placed against a wall to the left, but of course you can also build the shelving on the left side.
I decided which colors the different parts of the kitchen should have. . I chose to leave parts of the kitchen white and it wasn’t necessary to paint those parts.
I sawed the GNEDBY shelving unit (sides and backboard) into four parts before I assembled it. Two of the parts will go under the extra tabletop piece and another will be put on top of it. The last small part left I didn’t use for anything.
I took my time measuring and sawing straight because if you don’t you’ll spend a lot of time trying to fix it with sandpaper. I put the shelving unit’s two sides and the backboard flat on the floor next to the sides from the play kitchen so I was sure they would be the exact same height. I drew lines so I knew exactly where to saw.
Below is a diagram of where I cut the shelving unit. The measurements are from the top down.
I put painter’s tape on top of my lines and sawed through it. This is a great tip when sawing in plywood and IKEA furniture so you will have a prettier result. After I perfected the edges with sandpaper.
The kitchen’s top plate, the top of the shelf, has a little edge sticking out over the side. I sawed it off so the shelving unit could be placed right up against the kitchen. I carefully sawed off 0.7 cm of the edges.
Sanding and painting
I sanded all the plywood parts that I was going to paint so the painting would hold better. I painted them with thin layers several times. I actually painted everything in three layers.
I used a spray primer on the plastic parts. It’s important to use a primer that fits this exact type of hard plastic. Ask in your local store! I spray painted the sink, the edges of the stovetop and the pole white and the hooks and faucet gold. The knobs I had found on Amazon for the oven were silver, so I also spray painted those white.
When you spray paint something that needs paint on all sides, it’s important to place it on something so the painted surfaces don’t touch anything. Otherwise the paint will fall off, even though it might feel dry. For example I put the faucet on a cardboard box and I put the knobs on straws. It’s also important to spray paint very thin layers, or your paint will run. You can always paint more layers!
Assembling the kitchen
I assembled and built the play kitchen in stages.
First I assembled the bottom part of the kitchen according to the IKEA assembly instructions. Then I put the play kitchen tabletop on without the screws, just so I could adjust the other parts according to its placement.
I assembled the two parts of the shelving unit that I was going to have under the tabletop and placed them in the right spots. I screwed the front part together with the kitchen with a screw at the top and a screw further down.
Then I measured an extra tabletop piece with the same thickness as the existing tabletop. I just bought a small MDF / plywood piece to fit it. I sawed it and rounded the corneres with sandpaper so it matched the existing tabletop.
I thoroughly checked that the extra tabletop was level when it was placed on the two shelving unit pieces. I adjusted it a little bit using sandpaper until it was perfectly level.
I rolled out a big piece of adhesive foil with a marble pattern on the floor and put the play kitchen tabletop and the extra tabletop piece on it, so they stuck together to the foil next to each other. I cut a hole for the sink and stovetop and folded all the edges neatly under. The foil I had wasn’t very sticky so I added some tape in some places to make sure it would hold up. This way the tabletop was extended and also got a new color, plus the foil helps to hold the two tabletop pieces together.
I assembled the top of the play kitchen according to the IKEA assembly instructions, except I didn’t fix the tabletop yet.
I fixed the extra long tabletop with screws according to IKEA’s assembly instructions. I put the top part of the play kitchen on and screwed it onto the tabletop. I put the top and side of the last GNEDBY shelving unit part on the tabletop and fixed it to the top of the play kitchen and the bottom of the tabletop with screws. Then I added the shelving unit’s right side and fixed it to the tabletop from below. Finally I added the last bottom GNEDBY shelving unit part and fixed it to the other parts.
I looked for a fitting oven rack for a long time. Finally I found one that had the right width and I used a hacksaw to adjust the length to fit. I sanded the edges so there are no sharp edges and I made sure the cut side faces the back of the oven.
I painted small wooden blocks (just some left over stuff I had) the same color as the kitchen and used double sided tape to fix them to the sides of the oven. The sides are really thin so it wasn’t really possible to use screws. I taped the cooling rack to the wooden blocks so it doesn’t move. Trust me, Maya has tried to pull it out many times without any luck!
I drilled holes above the oven and fixed the knobs using a nut and bolt, so they can spin.
I added magnetic lights in the oven and microwave. The lights run on battery. When the magnet touches the light it turns off.
I fixed two small knobs to the side of the kitchen to hang a kitchen cloth and oven mitt. I used doublesided tape (nanotape) to fix the play phone to the side of the kitchen.
Thanks for reading! We love Maya’s new play kitchen 😉